Your thought process concerning the process of salvation will dictate how you feel about yourself, others and ultimately God.
I think at times we get the cart before the horse. We get ahead of ourselves. We are so eager to progress that we skip what we believe to be elementary.
A few weeks ago I met with my daughter’s teacher. She explained to me how my little girl was very intelligent and ahead of pace for her age and grade level. (Proud dad moment.)
As we talked it became clear, the teacher wanted to soothe any concerns I may have that our daughter wasn’t being “challenged”. I assured her this was not a concern. Nonetheless, she explained that my daughter was in the process of mastery. She has the capacity to forge ahead into uncharted waters. She could start working on concepts that older kids are working through, but for the long term, being “challenged” with new thoughts, ideas and formulas was not as valuable as completely mastering the content in 1stgrade. The concept is simple…allow the content of 1stgrade to become second nature, thus giving her a very strong foundation to build upon.
This is a sound approach to faith as well.
The word “salvation”, and the ideas surrounding it, are common to the Christian. After all, “getting saved” is where it all begins. In base terms, when a person gets saved, their spirit transitions from death into life. We were dead in our sin and now we are alive in Jesus. At impact with Jesus, we are made free from the penalty and bondage of sin. However, while our spirit is coming alive, we still have a soul. Our soul is our thinking, emotions and decision making. Though our soul is saved, and certainly some parts dramatically altered, over all our soul still carries our life experiences. It still contains our pre-Jesus thinking, our pre-Jesus emotional tendencies and our pre-Jesus decision making processes. At that moment, you are destined for heaven and made free, but the soul is still very much in process.
There is a great Old Testament picture of this in the book of Exodus…
The Israelites are bound in slavery to the Egyptians. If you read the sub-text, you begin to understand even though they were Jewish, they were prone to practice the religious expressions of Egypt. They worshipped Egypt’s gods. Through Moses (Jesus), Israel gets delivered from Egypt (saved). Their enemy gets drowned in the Red Sea (because when you are saved, your enemy no longer has a grip on you or claim to you). Not long after, Moses goes up Mount Sinai and is there for a while. The people of Israel, saved and set free, are faced with a moment of uncertainty. What was their response? They reverted to worshipping the gods of Egypt. They were free, but were still dealing with their Egyptian experience.
Fast forward forty years…Israel crosses the Jordan River, on the precipice of the Promised Land. Once again they are faced with uncertainty in the form of Jericho. How did they respond this time? With obedience as they marched around the walls. What was the difference? They were just as “saved” when they crossed the Red Sea as they were when they crossed the Jordan. The difference, a forty-year journey of the “Egypt” in them dying.
You are instantly free…and becoming free.
You are instantly in Christ…and becoming in Christ.
Make no mistake, there was a rebuke when they worshipped the golden calf. They were disciplined along their journey. But God was patient and long suffering.
All of us are on a similar journey…we are saved and free…yet we are becoming. Before we get too enamored with “profound revelation” and run off into the wild seeking the deep and rich, we would be wise to work on “mastering” salvation. Slowly but surely (and occasionally suddenly and dramatic), our souls transition from Egypt to Promise.
**I want to honor our friend Mandy Adair who did a great teaching on this topic a couple of years ago at our summer camps!